The Widows of Varanasi | Rituals In India

Some parts of Indian society consider widows to be inauspicious. When a woman becomes a widow, many families just abandon them at old age homes or shelters, sometimes on the pretext of sightseeing in Varanasi. Most of the women living in this home for widows were married off at very young ages, some as young as 11. Widow remarriage is still frowned upon in many parts of the country, as it is against some people’s religion. Following the traditions with which they were brought up, none of these women chose to remarry. NGOs such as Sulabh International are doing their best to take in these widows, and provide them with home and comfort as they await their deaths. These women’s lives are already over. All they want is to chant the Lord’s name and hope that they can join him soon.

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